Honor The Dead - Care For The Living

HARRY R. CARTER, Ph.D., MIFireE



In June 2000, I wrote a commentary that had almost the same title as the one you see above. It was entitled Honor the Dead - Save the Living. In that work, I spoke of the fact that we had a certain morbid fixation on dead as a noble goal in the fire service. I spoke quite forcefully against death as the central focus of our service to humanity. Life is what we should celebrate. The saving of life serves as the reason we do all that we do. Life serves as the motivation for the dangers we endure.

I recently spent a number of days serving as a faculty member for the 2002 edition of the Firehouse Expo in Baltimore. As is my way, I attended a number of the main program lectures, as well as the opening ceremonies. I sat in the back of the auditorium in Baltimore keeping counsel with my thoughts on the events of September 11, 2001

Folks, I still find it difficult to come to grips with the murder of so many brave firefighters. The butchery committed by those mindless cowards from across the sea weighs heavy on my heart. Yet, I do not want to obsess on death to the point of triggering a downward mental spiral.

I listened to Hal Bruno, Chairman of the National Fallen Firefighter